Silkscreens are available usually made of wood or aluminum – how to chose? and whats the difference?
For beginners, hobbyists and doing simple prints, the wooden frames are ideal, mainly due to their inexpensive price. Any wood silkscreens I have purchased have not cost anything more than £ 20.00, and have done a great job.
Problems though can occur with wooden frames when they can warp due to regular dipping in a water tank or wash out sink when removing either ink, emulsion or both. I have found the wood can take a while to dry. There is also the problem due to continued use of the screen the mesh fabric becoming worn down and loosing on the frame, causing the frame not to register as good as it used to when newer. This makes the screens unusable for multicoloured prints as the tighter the screen mesh the better the screen will register or line up for multicolour prints.
If you want a longer repeating frame, if you become more serious about printing, or you are finding that your wooden ones due to continued dipping in water are becoming warped then aluminum may be the way to go. These can be more expensive, but they will not warp and can also be stretched and re-stretched many times. The mesh and glue are simply removed from the frame using a professional tool that does not do any damage to the aluminum. Once cleaned, the frames can then be re-stretched which will give you the ability to use the same frame for a very long time. Aluminum frames are also light weight which has an added bonus of being easy to handle and shipping when purchasing is fairly cheap.
So if you are just starting off, then try a wooden frame and do not invest too much cash, if you get the silk screening bug, (which lots of people seem to) then invest in some good quality aluminum silk screens, they will last you years and continue to give you great results even when you progress to more complex multicoloured designs and prints.
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Source by B Johnston